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Polenta Galettes with Leek & Swiss Chard

We know thats it's healthy to eat our greens. In fact, the darker the leaves of the vegetable (think kale, chard and spinach), the more they are packed with nutrients. This recipe pairs two green vegetables, leek and Swiss chard, into one delicious starter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, tough stems removed,
      coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup fine- or medium-grind polenta
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. minced shallots
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green
      parts only (about 6 leeks)
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/3 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the chard and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 4 cups water and 1 1/2 tsp. of the salt and bring to a boil. Gradually stir in the polenta, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until the polenta pulls slightly away from the sides of the pan, about 10 minutes. Butter a 10-by-14-inch baking pan, add the polenta and smooth the top. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

In a fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Stir in the shallots and leeks. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until the leeks are very soft but not browned and the moisture is completely absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in the chard, stock, red pepper flakes, the remaining 1 tsp. salt and the black pepper. Increase the heat to high and cook until almost all the moisture is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Preheat a broiler.

Cut the polenta into desired shapes, such as rectangles, circles or triangles. Drizzle 1/2 Tbs. olive oil onto a baking sheet and place the polenta cutouts on it. Drizzle with the remaining 1/2 Tbs. olive oil and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Broil 6 inches from the heat source until lightly golden and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.

Divide the polenta among warmed plates and top each with some of the leek mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from New Healthy Kitchen Series, Starters, by Georgeanne Brennan (Simon & Schuster, 2006).